Insights & Opinions… from the MAC4 team.

How to Keep Your Employee Portal Well Fed—Without Starving Your Time

Does your employee portal sometimes seem like a bottomless pit? If you’re responsible for a portal or employee intranet, continuously feeding it with fresh and engaging content can feel like a Sisyphean task, akin to keeping a ravenous teenager or a growing puppy fed. It can also feel like a full-time job, but in all likelihood, you’ve got one of those—and managing the portal is just part of it. At the same time, you’re probably well aware that dynamic content—particularly in your news feed—is a key factor in keeping your employees engaged in your portal and coming back for more.

If feeding your portal news feed is gobbling up too many hours in your work week, it’s time to rethink how you generate (and re-purpose) content that adds value for employees without leaving you starved for time. Here are four strategies you should consider incorporating into your portal content plan:

  • Re-purpose content. Writing original articles is part and parcel of maintaining a portal—but it’s not realistic for you or your team to write every story from scratch. It’s okay to supplement with re-purposed content. Come across a relevant story from another business unit? Today’s portal technology allows you to tag content for your organization, or add an intro with a “spin” that’s germane for your audience, and hit “publish.” Voila—fresh content!

You can also get into the habit of “mining” content from other internal or external communications materials. For example, look at leadership presentations or messages and industry news articles for portal-worthy content you could republish as a news story.

  • Think “series.” The quick-read nature of the portal lends itself to a series of shorter stories rather than one long, detailed article. Take advantage of this fact by identifying content that can be split into a one-time series, or recurring content that follows a consistent format and theme—like a series of interviews with the leadership team or stories that showcase employee efforts that bring the company mission to life. A recurring series makes it easy to plug fresh content into an existing format with a common intro and conclusion, for instance, furthering your communications goals while reducing your workload.
  • Share authorship. Before you or your team spend hours upon hours generating more and more portal content, consider that there might be others within the organization who would welcome the chance to author a portal story. Seek those colleagues out and offer them the opportunity, and you might find this is a win-win: Your “beat reporters” get the visibility of sharing a perspective from their location or function. (You could even offer them a byline.) You retain editing rights, and get interesting story ideas and content without having to write more stories.

 Go beyond the written word. Videos, podcasts and other multimedia communications make for engaging portal content. Especially if you or someone else in your organization is producing multimedia for another purpose—say, a training class or sales conference—giving it a new life as portal content makes the most of your company’s production investment, while reducing the need to generate more portal content from scratch.

If your plate is too full to devote more time to your employee portal, it’s time to get smarter about how you manage content for this vital employee engagement tool.

Author: Kate Tomasco


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